Defence Minister Izoria praises Georgia-NATO relations as Agile Spirit drills close

  • Georgia's defence minister Levan Izoria speaks at the closing ceremony of the Agile Spirit drills. Photo: Ministry of Defence of Georgia press office., 9 Aug 2019 - 18:07, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia's progress on path to NATO partnership and the alliance's involvement in the Black Sea regional stability were lauded by the Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Izoria in an address at the closing of the Agile Spirit defence drills in Georgia earlier today.

Izoria told the troops, commanders and officials gathered at the concluding ceremony of the exercise Georgia's "strategic readiness" was to credit for the country's success in approaching NATO standards while seeking eventual integration.

We have carried out important reforms through strategic readiness [...], be it developing a new system for reserve as part of total defence, launching the most ambitious Georgia Defence Readiness Program with our main strategic partner the United States [...], modernising our armament and implementing new approaches, philosophies [and] principles related to the concept of objective-led command," Izoria told the audience at the ceremony.

The head of the ministry also noted the Georgian government welcomed the increased focus on regional security and stability in Black Sea since the 2016 Warsaw Summit of NATO.

Citing the role of the alliance in providing for "peaceful coexistence of once-adversarial" nations, Izoria linked Georgia's membership ambition to the aspiration of "ensuring peace in our country".

The defence official spoke at the event that marked the closing of the exercise that involved over a dozen participating nations between July 27-August 9.

Launched at the 2nd Infantry Brigade base in Senaki in Georgia's west, the manoeuvres involved more than 3,000 service members from 14 NATO members and allies.

Beside the Senaki location, this year's Agile Spirit drills were also held at the Orpolo and Vaziani training areas and were led by the Ministry of Defence of Georgia and the United States European Command.